Washington State Policy (State Statute) Law and Administrative Code that defines Arts Education as Core, Basic, Essential and Mandatory Education for All Students, K-12.


Compiled by AnnRené Joseph, Program Supervisor, The Arts, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Washington State. Building a state systemic structure that will support the arts as basic education...

  • WAC 180-51-061- Minimum requirements for high school graduation beginning 2004, including the WA State Arts High School Graduation Requirement for the freshman class of 2004 – graduating class of 2008 and beyond- all students must take a visual and/or performing arts class for one full credit, developed at benchmark three (Grade 10) and/or above of the arts essential academic learning requirements (EALRs).
  • RCW 28A.655.060 (2001) – State Assessment Timeline which includes the arts is replaced by:
    HB 2195, 2004- Arts Education is mandatory in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts; students will have access to arts instruction in all four arts disciplines; arts subjects will be taught by highly qualified and certified instructors; arts instruction will be assessed by state developed classroom based performance assessments (CBPAs) and/or other strategies in 2008-2009 with districts reporting results to OSPI regarding student progress.
  • RCW 28A.150.210 – State Learning Goals – Arts As Basic and Mandatory Education; and
    HB 1209, 1993 - Arts Essential Academic Learning Requirements for Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts –


Washington State's Arts Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRS)
(Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts)

  1. The student understands and applies arts knowledge and skills;
  2. The student demonstrates thinking skills using artistic processes;
  3. The student communicates through the arts;
  4. The student makes connections within and across the arts, to other disciplines, life, cultures, and work.


No Child Left Behind/Elementary and Secondary Education Act (NCLB/ESEA) Title V, Part D, subpart 15, section 5551), 2002 -Arts are Basic and Core Academic Subjects and will be defined by the states. Arts in Washington State include dance, music, theatre, and visual arts as defined by Dr. Terry Bergeson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2002.


Contact AnnRené Joseph, Program Supervisor, The Arts, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, OSPI; www.k12.wa.us/curriculumInstruct/arts-

Please view The Arts Web pages on the OSPI Web site for details regarding the mandates, expectations, goals and laws for arts education in Washington State –– Click Here to go directly to the OSPI EARL's site.


WA State Goal/Vision for Arts Educastion in WA State Supported by State and Federal Law


OSPI Goal and Vision for Arts Education – All 296 school districts in Washington State will offer, support, and provide comprehensive, sequential, standards-based K-12 arts programs available to all learners in dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts


WA State Law and Policy Summary

  • WAC 180-51-061 – Arts High School Graduation Requirement for 2004
  • RCW 28A.150.210 – State Learning Goals – Arts as Basic and Mandatory Education
  • RCW 28A.655.060 – State Assessment Timeline and HB 2195, 2004
  • No Child Left Behind-Elementary and Secondary Education Act (NCLB/ESEA)
  • Arts are a Core Subject Area! Title V, part D, subpart 15 (section 5551)


Additional Arts Education Activities that Support Arts Education in Washington State as Basic, Core and Essential Education for All Students.

  • Superintendent¹s Annual State High School Art Show-www.k12.wa.us/curriculumInstruct/arts
  • Biennial ArtsTime Conference- dance, music, theatre, visual arts– www.artstime.org
  • Education Commission of States (ECS) – National Arts Initiative-http://www.ecs.org/huckabee
  • State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education – Steering Committee-www.seadae.org
    "We must continue to find a place for arts programs and partnerships, not only for what it teaches students about art, but for what it teaches us all about the world we live in." Dr. Terry Bergeson, WA State Superintendent of Public Instruction


AnnRené Joseph, Program Supervisor, The Arts, OSPI
(Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts)
Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
www.k12.wa.us    www.k12.wa.us/curriculumInstruct/arts
OSPI Arts Mission -"The Arts-Communicating and integrating life, literacy, and learning through experience for all learners."
ArtsTime Conference- www.artstime.org